Don’t forget increased Form I-9 worksite enforcement activities on deck for 2018 – Are you ready?
In July of last year, we blogged about the subtle changes reflected in the new Form I-9. In contrast, there was nothing subtle about Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan’s comments in October of 2017 – ICE plans on increasing worksite investigations of employers by “four or five” times in 2018.
All U.S. employers are subject to an ICE audit of workers’ eligibility, no matter their size or location. All employers are also required to follow the strict Form I-9 procedures and failure to comply could lead to hefty fines and even criminal penalties.
So, welcome to the New Year of ICE enforcement! Are you prepared to face ICE at your door? Here are some quick tips to get you started:
- In light of ICE’s promise of increased audit activities, now is the perfect time to review your internal Form I-9 process and document retention practices to ensure employees charged with processing the Form I-9s follow consistent and correct practices. For those who participate in E-Verify, make sure you review those procedures as well.
- All employees responsible for processing Form I-9s should review the current Form I-9 and list of acceptable documents (which changes periodically) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Handbook for Employers, and study the USCIS’s latest tips about employment verification.
- All employers should examine their current Form I-9 documentation to ensure it is in order. Do you know where all of the Form I-9s are kept on file? Do you have a Form I-9 for every current employee? It is a best practice to pull a sampling and see if there are any errors, such as accepting expired documents or missing information. If errors are found, seek legal counsel to assist with any internal audit.